The failure of the communist ideology to mobilize the nation to fight the German invaders lead to a gradual roll back of the several changes instituted by Bolsheviks when they took power:
- The Church was allowed to elect a Patriarch
- Shoulder boards were restored
- The ranks of "officer" and "general" were re-introduced
This was a part of the turn of the ideology from "communist internationalism" to "Russian patriotism" that started with the "brothers and sisters" speech.
Of course, "communist internationalism" was not abandoned wholesale, but made to co-exist with patriotism.
"The War" in Russian always means the "Great Patriotic War" (Russian does not have articles though, so it's even more striking). This was a major event in the nation's history (the previous "Patriotic War" was in 1812, against Napoleon). Both wars required massive public participation (i.e., the "regular army" was not the only fighting force).
The war for Russia started with a German invasion that was a complete surprise for the nation.
The disastrous defeats of 1941 showed that Russians were not eager to die for communism (especially since many soldiers were peasants who remembered collectivization and Holodomor well), so a shift in ideology was necessary.
"Russian patriotism" was gradually made an integral part of the official ideology. This was not just in the name of the war - "The Great Patriotic War" - but also in many references to Russian history.
Not only the "commanders" were renamed to "officers" and "generals" (the latter words were actually invectives until then!) but old Russian historical figures were lionized and new decorations named after them introduced, starting in 1942 (Alexander Nevsky, Suvorov, Ushakov, Kutuzov, Nakhimov &c) .
Moreover, the Russian Orthodox Church was "rehabilitated" - it was permitted to elect a Patriarch and became, yet again, a faithful servant of the state in exchange for an ease of relentless persecution (other religions were less fortunate - protestants and Jews were as persecuted as before, if not more).
See also Were there in the USSR monasteries decorated with Soviet orders?
An unrelated "friendly gesture to the Western allies" was the formal dissolution of Comintern in 1943 (nothing changed in the actual management of subservient communist parties from Moscow).